The Burmese Harp

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La Harpe de Birmanie

The Burmese Harp

(Biruma no tagegoto)

by Ichikawa Kon



La Harpe de Birmanie

Director: Ichikawa Kon

Script: Wada Natto adapted from Takeyama Michio's novel

Cinematographer: Yokoyama Minoru

Music: Ifukube Akira

Cast: Mikuni Rentaro, Yasui Shôji, Hamamura Jun, Naitô Taketoshi, Kasuga Shunji, Nishimura Kô

Production: Nikkatsu

Carlotta Films
9 Passade de la Boule Blanche
75012 Paris
Tel: 0033
Fax: 0033

Year: 1956

35 mm, B & W, 116 min, 
OV Japanese with French Subtitles

San Giorgio Award - Venise Film Festival 1956

A regiment from the Japanese imperial army is put to rout in the middle of the Burmese jungle a few days after the end of Second World War. Among the soldiers, harp player Mizushima cheers up the men and guides them with his instrument. While the regiment stops in a village, the men are surrounded by the British troops. To avoid a massacre, Captain Inoue orders his men to sing to inform the troops of their pacifism. The Japanese soldiers hence can surrender without violence. Mizushima is then given the responsibility to convince a resistance group hiding in the mountains to surrender to the British. The operation fails and the harp player is left for dead. Several days later, while his companions are concerned by Mizushima’s fate, they pass a Burmese monk strangely looking like him…

This is a pacifist deeply moving story by one of the masters of Japanese Cinema.

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